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    • Review: 2014 Kona Process 153
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2014 Fox Racing Shox fork inventory sale at The Path Bike Shop

Blog

Race Series Recap: OC Classic Races 2 & 3

The Path Bike Shop team racer at the 2014 OC Classic MTB Race SeriesRace Report by Luke Wronski, Kona Grassroots rider and employee of The Path Bike Shop

Race #2, the Whiting Ranch Time Trial was a painful event. The course was a 20-minute race up a climb they call "Dreaded Hill" down a flowy singletrack, and out to the finish line. I decided to race the brutal mostly climbing time trial on the Kona Process 153. I wanted to see how good I could do against a field of 20-lb hardtails. Despite the extra weight, I still managed to finish 5th!

Read more: Race Series Recap: OC Classic Races 2 & 3

OC Classic Race 1, Aliso Woods

Luke The Path Bike Shop rider at OC Classic MTB Race #1 at Aliso WoodsRace Report by Luke Wronski, Kona Grassroots rider and employee of The Path Bike Shop

This weekend's OC Classic Race #1 at Aliso Woods with Non Dot Adventures was awesome! After a week of being sick I was skeptical of how well I was going to do. In addition, this was my first XC race of the year, so I had no gauge on where my fitness was at.

At the start of the race I made it my goal to stay with my Path Bike Shop teammate Josh who's been really strong all year. We broke away at the first climb up Meadows, which is a brutally steep climb. Our plan was to establish a big gap early on in the climbs and descents, in order to not get caught in a power battle in the flats. We maintained our lead for the three laps of the race. After completing our final descent down Rock-it we had a two mile false-flat to the finish line. At this point I decided to go for it for fear that if I waited we would be battling with guys who are fare more adept on the flats than Josh or I. I led the race for 3/4's of the final two miles, but along the way another rider had managed to bridge the gap and was now siting on my wheel. He managed to out-power me at the line for the win.

All in all it was a fantastic day of racing. I couldn't be happier with my 2nd place finish out of 18. My time would have been good enough for 3rd in pro. I was also stoked to see such a good turnout for the event (180 total riders)!

The Shop's Kona Hei-Hei 29er was the perfect bike for this technically challenging XC course.

 

Luke's race report can also be found on the Kona Bicycles website blog. Photo: Called to Creation.

 

The Path Bike Shop Jr Racers: Kenda Cup Race 5 and CA Golden State Series Race 1

The Path Bike Shop jr Racers Andrew at Kenda Cup Race 5 and Ryan at CA Golden State Race 1The Path Bike Shop Team junior racers were making huge waves last Saturday April 27, 2014. Major kudos to these very talented young racers!

Andrew Vollmer (Cat 2 - 14 & under) placed 2nd in XC at the Kenda Cup Series Race #5 at Bonelli Park. Here is Andrew's race report:

"For Kenda Cup #5 at Bonelli Park, it was my second XC race of the weekend. I came back from a little race in Los Olivos as a warm-up for Kenda Cup. The entire time I was at Bonelli I couldn’t wait for the race to start because my legs felt so good. After the long wait I was on the starting line and anxious to race. Finally, we were off and a lead group of a 17-18 year old racer and the leader of my group quickly formed. Knowing it would take a little bit of luck to beat the leader of my race, I was happy sitting in the chase group of me and two others. Once we hit the climbs I made sure I was leading the group because I wanted to drop the kids behind me. I managed to drop one but the other one wouldn’t budge! So, I asked if he could pull, but he didn’t want to work so I just pushed it on the second lap and dropped him on one of the first climbs! Now I was just had to keep him away. I was solo for the rest of the lap and was happy with the result of finishing second out of six for Cat 2 14 & under. I also made a 3-4 minute gap on third place!"

Our young DH ripper Ryan McGarrity (Beg Men 10-11) placed 1st in DH at the California Golden State Series in Fontana.

 

Kona Team Meet Greet and MTB Ride

Kona Pro racers on a mountain bike with The Path Bike Shop team and friends at Santiago Oaks Regional ParkMembers of the Kona Race TeamBarry WicksKris Sneddon, and Spencer Paxson came out to The Path Bike Shop Tustin location last Thursday March 20, 2014 for a meet and greet with our friends, customers, staff, Path Bike Shop team racers, and Relampago team racers. Then it was off to Santiago Oaks Regional Park for a mountain bike ride. We had over 25 riders join in the fun! Ian and Jeff sported matching shirts and beards for the occasion.

The ride was followed by the all important recovery drink...at the Tustin Brewing Company.

Thanks to Kona Bicycles for your continued support of our shop and riders.  

Ian and Jeff matching shirts and beards at The Path Bike Shop MTB ride

Kona Race Team pros with The Path Bike Shop race team

Custom 2014 Kona Process 134

Custom 2014 Kona Process 134 at The Path Bike Shop in Tustin, CAIt's a very unusual made-to-order build for one of our customers. This is our customer Nick and his new customized 2014 Kona Process 134.

What makes this build so special and so interesting? All controls are on the left side! The brakes work separately from each other: rear brake on the bottom, front brake on the top. Jesse (sales and mechanic here at The Path Bike Shop) worked out a great solution, making the seemingly impossible possible.

 

Southridge Winter Series Race 2: Junior Race Team

Jarod Hanson junior DH racer for The Path Bike Shop at the 2014 Southridge Winter Race SeriesOur junior racers are ripping out at Fontana in the 2014 Southridge Winter Race Series! Race #2 in the series was last weekend, January 25-26. Whether it's downhill or cross country racing, they're out there getting the job done. We're proud to have these two talented racers out there representing The Path Bike Shop. Great job guys!

Jarod Hanson Jr, DH racer for The Path and Kona Bikes, has placed 3rd back to back for the last 2 downhill races in the Expert 18 & Under race category.

"I had a blast this past weekend at Fontana for the Winter Series Race #2! There was a technical/expert split up on the top half and then the rest was a lot of sandy berms and flat turns. Before my run I was watching the pros go down the tech section. They were trying to go too fast and they kept crashing. So at that point I realized for my run I had to slow it down so I could keep it rubber down. My run was great I felt really smooth! I had a small bobble in one of the sand berms but that was it. I couldn't be happier! The new kona supreme operator felt so good! It's super smooth and stable through the rocks! It also corners like no other. I can just pop in and out of all the turns, it felt really good! I want to say thanks to The Path Bike Shop and Kona Bikes for setting me up on the new bike I feel that we are going to have a solid season and more to come!"

Andrew Vollmer junior XC racer for The Path Bike Shop at the 2014 Southridge Winter Race SeriesAndrew Vollmer, XC racer, is on a roll in the series as well; he placed 6th at Race 2 in the Sport Men 18 & Under category.

"Southridge Race #2 was super fun and I was stoked with my race times. There were about three times as many people racing today in Sport Men 18 & Under than the first Southridge race, however I increased my time by two minutes and got 6th out of 21. My chain unfortunately fell off at a crucial point before the finish, losing my spot in 5th place. But the competition was fierce and I was happy to place up there."

 

Southridge Winter Series Race 1: XC

The Path Bike Shop team rider Andrew at the Southridge Winter Series Race 1 2014Andrew keeps doing us proud in this 2014 race season. He placed 3rd in the Sport Men 18 & under class at the 2014 Southridge Winter Series XC MTB race on January 11, 2014. We're looking forward to seeing Andrew at Race 2 in the series, which is coming up this weekend.

Here is Andrew's race report:

"Today I raced the first XC race of the Winter Series for Southridge USA in Fontana. I competed in the Sport Men age 18 & under category and had a great time. At the beginning of the race my legs were not warmed up, but I caught up to the two leading riders on an uphill. On the first downhill of the race I unfortunately had a little spill on a sandy corner losing the 2nd place rider’s wheel. On my second lap I could see 2nd place in my sights but followed a racer from a different category off the track. By then 2nd place was far away and I settled with a 3rd place out of 8, but two of my good friends took 1st and 2nd and I was the youngest in the category, so it was all good!"
 
Southridge U.S.A.: Fontana, CA
KMC Chain Winter Series
XC Race 1/11/14 
Sport Men 18 & Under
Andrew Vollmer, age 13
 

Southridge Winter Series Race 1: Downhill

The Path Bike Shop team rider David at the 2014 Southridge Winter Series Race 1 downhill podiumRace report by David Hardwick, member of The Path Bike Shop race team. 

With the opening of Snow Summit Bike Park and my first trip to Whistler Bike Park I was able to ride more downhill then the previous two years combined. I have found my love for downhill again and am really excited to race with The Path Bike Shop for 2014. After a few different injuries and three years away from the local race scene I plan on stepping back into it full strength and getting on that top step.

I raced Sport last weekend at the 2014 Southridge Winter Series Downhill Race 1 to see where I lined up with the rest of the group since I’ve been away from downhill racing for three years. I placed second, and only out of first by three tenths of a second.

Two summers ago I changed bikes from my 2008 Kona Stinky to a 2011 Kona Operator and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a new Kona Park Operator frame soon. Lastly thanks to my lovely wife Tashina for always supporting this crazy mountain bike obsession.

Photo: courtesy of Thomas Stees

 

SoCalCross Fever Race 1

The Path Bike Shop junior rider Andrew on the podium at SoCalCross Fever Cyclocross Race 1One of our newest sponsored racers, Andrew Vollmer, did us proud yesterday. He took part in the first race of the new SoCalCross Fever Cyclocross Race Series on Saturday December 28, 2014. Andrew placed 2nd in the Junior Boys 10-14 race class. Keep it up Andrew, great job! We're stoked that you're out there representing The Path Bike Shop.

Here is Andrew's race report:

"Today in cyclocross it was a crazy race. The location was Irvine Lake and I pre-rode the course three times trying to figure out which bike to use, the cross bike, or the mountain bike. I eventually figured out the mountain bike would be the best choice for the course due to all the hills and sand.

While I was resting in the truck waiting for the race to start I noticed my bike had a flat, fifteen minutes before the race was to start! We quickly fixed the flat and I got to the race line just in time for the start. After four laps of the sandy and rough course I finished in 2nd place, losing to the national track champion by mere seconds.

This was a fun race and I am ready for tomorrow’s cyclocross race and will be wearing my The Path Bike Shop kit once again...after my Mom washes it."

The Path Bike Shop junior rider Andrew racing at SoCalCross Fever Cyclocross Race 1

 

2013 Southridge Challenge Super D

The Path Bike Shop rider Luke on the podium at the 2013 SRC Challenge Super D raceThe 22nd Annual Southridge Challenge was held on November 23, 2013 in Fontana, CA. Our longtime staff member Luke Wronski was out representing The Path Bike Shop at the Super D race in the expert category. Way to go, Luke!

"Fontana went well today. Super-D course was fun and had a good turnout. My race run was clean, no major mistakes. I ended up 3rd out of 16 in expert. Felt good to get up on the podium. My 2014 Kona Process 153 felt perfect and I had a bunch of people asking me about it!"

Race photo (below): Jason Cleghorn Photography

The Path Bike Shop rider Luke racing at the 2013 SRC Challenge Super D race

 

Review: 2014 Kona Process 153

2014 Kona Process 153 on the trail at sunriseReview and photos by Eric (Auk) Akiyoshi, The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team

The 2014 Kona Process 153 is, to quote one great rider, "…a game changer!"  The legacy of Kona trail bikes includes classics like the King Kikapu (4-inch), Dawg (5-inch), and the Coiler (6-inch).  Having ridden each one of those bikes, the Process 153 has some, proverbial, big wheels (errr…shoes), to fill; maybe that is why it rolls on 27.5" wheels?

Earlier this year, there were rumors of the Process bikes getting some rough and rowdy testing in SoCal.  Solid reports started hitting the internet in July after Kona invited dealers to ride the 2014 lineup at the annual Kona dealer event, creating quite the buzz.  In early October, the Path Bike Shop received a shipment of production bikes and the "Process" had arrived.
 
There are plenty of articles on the design philosophy behind the Process lineup (just Google search on "Kona Process bikes") so it won't be rehashed.  Suffice it to say that the 153 mm of rear travel was the result of goals and objectives set by the design team rather than designing a bike around a specific travel amount:  pivot locations, long-ish top tubes, super low stand over, short chain stays, and low bottom brackets, all tweaked for peak performance.  Perhaps another way to characterize the design is "right sizing" the geometry.
 
Looking at the lines of the Kona Process 153, it's a darn good looking bike; just sitting there, it encourages confidence.  Someone once said, "…a bike needs to speak to me."  The Process 153 "speaks" volumes.  The Orange and black scheme was a bold move and executed nicely.  One small gripe, the lack of  space to fit one's favorite bike shop stickers without covering up the Kona logos...
 
2014 Kona Process 153 custom build from The Path Bike ShopBelow is a quick summary the geometry measurements:  just think, long, low, and slack…errrr, "right sized."
 
Bike Geometry
  • Head angle: 66.5-deg
  • Bottom Bracket (height): 13.4-inches
  • Chainstay: 16.75-inches
  • Effective top tube / reach: 23.7-inches / 17.1 (comparable other mediums have ETTs around 23-inches and reaches about an inch shorter).
  • Seat tube angle: 74-deg
A plethora of 27.5" wheeled bikes with about 150-mm of rear travel with killer geometries hit the market for 2014 (e.g. Rocky Mountain Altitude Rally Edition, Santa Cruz Bronson, Giant Trance SX 27.5).  However, this ride stands apart with it's 16.75-inch chain stays, lowest-in class sagged BB height, longer reach / short stem, and super low stand-over clearance.
 
Build Kit / Weight
This particular custom build started as a Process 153 (non-DL version), complete with the super sick 2014 Rockshox Pike RC fork.  From there, some personal touches were added:  drive train (SRAM XX1), wheels (Stan's Flow rims on DT Swiss 240 / Chub hub with comp spokes), dropper post, and ENVE carbon DH handlebar.  The stock Shimano Deore brakes weren't changed; consensus is that they feel and perform as well as their lighter cousins.  The final build weight is right at 29.75 lbs; it's no XC Racer-boy bike, but respectable enough for what it's meant to do.
 
Rides on the 2014 Kona Process 153  
In the span of a week, the Process 153 was taken to a local bike park (Snow Summit in Big Bear, CA), ridden through the Santa Ana Mountains (long steep climbs with steep, chunky, exposed downhills), railed through some local favorites at the Santiago Oaks Regional Park (short, steep ups, quick downs), and pedaled in south Orange County's Aliso Woods Wilderness Park.  Four very different riding conditions, about 8 hours of saddle time, and 15,000 feet of descending goodness!
 
2014 Kona Process 153 custom build from The Path Bike ShopPerformance…BRRAAAP!!!
People asked, "how does it climb compared to a first generation Intense Slopestyle, or even the recently released Rocky Mountain Altitude?"  Comparisons have been made to a "…mini-Downhill rig…"  Affirmative, it climbs as well as any gravity oriented trail bike and inspires confidence like a DH rig.
 
The longer top tube / reach measurement makes the transition from pedaling to descending completely natural with no need to search for that magic balance point between overweighting the front nor slipping too far off the back.  Chasing some local fast guys around Big Bear, the 153 goaded me on, faster and faster, bigger and bigger.  Brief thoughts flashed across my mind, "…should I be going this fast?" and "…dang this rig wants to charge harder, but I'm freakin' tired!"  Off-camber turns linked with table tops, rhythm sections, doubles, and built up berms leading into big drops, the Process handled these with aplomb!  Whew, my hands need a break just writing about the thrill.
 
As for climbing, the super short, 40 mm, stem might cause a little consternation for uphill stability.  However, coupled with the longer reach measurement, steep-ish seat tube angle, and low bottom bracket, the Process is as stable as it needs when the going gets steep.
 
When all was said and done, I often forgot I was riding a 650b/27.5" wheeled bike.  The ride is responsive and playful enough, and also gives that high speed DH stability.
 
Enough writing, go find a bike and ride.

 

OC Parks Tour MTB Series Race 3: Irvine Park & Santiago Oaks

The Path Bike Shop rider 1st place podium at the OC Parks Tour Race 3 at Santiago Oaks and Irvine Park, 2013Race report by Matthew Palmer, member of The Path Bike Shop race team

"This was one of those epic once in a lifetime races. Not because I won a race on my home trails, but because of how the ride was shaped between myself and a rider I hope I can be like in 20 years"

We started fast, up and down Puma ridge, then we took turns pulling one another through the flats of Willow/Egret to the dam, trying to put a gap between us and rest of the field. I pulled away from Gerrit (my friend and riding buddy) a bit when we got to the first climb, then even further as we moved up Coachwhip (1-mile climb). Knowing that Gerrit was much faster than me on the technical descents, I tried to move quickly down Chutes and maintain my gap, but he eventually caught me in the middle of the Roadrunner single-track and we were once again right alongside one another.

Read more: OC Parks Tour MTB Series Race 3: Irvine Park & Santiago Oaks

My Race Season So Far

The Path Bike Shop rider third place podium at the 2013 Rim Nordic Series Race 1race report by Chris Heinrich

My 2013 race season so far has been consistently inconsistent. Thank goodness my bikes have shown me the support a true stable of loyal steeds can show. I figured the race season started back in March with the Keyesville Classic.  But it was just a tease. Plagued with sickness and injury and one family event/issue/crisis/etc/etc after the other, I would not be able to develop any kind of exercise/run/ride/etc routine (and you can forget about Mr. Circadian too!). As always, racing was and is just for fun and even though there wasn't time to train, there was always time to race! It's just the pain you put your body through that takes a bit of will power (that we all have) to get over it and keep the passion of pedaling ever so prevalent.

From Catalina to Big Bear, I participated in rides and races, content on being a weekend warrior until all the "more important" details of life would cooperate with my life. And what do you know, I'm back! I've been messing around with a dangling carrot in front of my face for 8 months (and Mr. Tani...I'm sure you know what I'm talking about) and I think I might be able to find my pedal stroke again. I got a bit of a reality check at the Over The Hump MTB race on June 18th. I know where I need to be...ON MY BIKE.

Read more: My Race Season So Far

Santa Ana Mountains SingleTrack Tour Part 2

Sunday Mountain bike ride in the Santa Anasby Jesse Peterson, Mechanic at The Path Bike Shop Live Oak

“He knew how to handle pain. You had to lie down with pain, not draw back away from it. You let yourself sort of move around the outside edge of pain like with cold water until you finally got up your nerve to take yourself in hand. Then you took a deep breath and dove in and let yourself sink down it clear to the bottom. And after you had been down inside pain a while you found that like with cold water it was not nearly as cold as you had thought it was when your muscles were cringing themselves away from the outside edge of it as you moved around it trying to get up your nerve. He knew pain.” ―  James Jones,  From Here to Eternity

   Although I know many things can be said about a simple ride through the Santa Anas, come Monday morning (a day after the Sunday Tour) I found myself short of words and still in thought. It is back to a busy life, enduring the tasks and responsibilities in this shared network we call "real life." Back to the grind. Seemingly uninspired I searched for a frame of reference that I could build a blurb about our Shop Ride with, and upon reading through a bunch of quotes about endurance, serenity replaced anxiety and my thoughts became simplified...making it much easier to type a short page on my MTB ride.

Read more: Santa Ana Mountains SingleTrack Tour Part 2

Review: Kona Hei-Hei Supreme Reflections

Kona Hei Hei 29er bike on the trailsby Neil Adams, General Manager at The Path Bike Shop

Once Kona “released” this bike at Sea Otter it has been on my short list of bikes to try…not that I need another bike but 29″ at 100mm travel does have a open slot in my garage :)

To the bike. I did read some reviews online where the feedback was ok, not stellar but ok. Obviously I wanted to make my own judgements since this is one of the brands we carry that I have not spent a lot of time on, except of course for my Raijin which I love! I pretty much ran this 18″ straight out of the box. Only change was setting up the tires tubeless since the Easton rims are UST ready…not that the Maxxis Ikon is a UST tire so its not recommended but I wanted to run some low pressure so I took a chance.

To the ride. Flat sections/bermy stuff- this bike rips! Excellent trail manners. The short chainstays made it easy to loft the front and the 13″ BB felt planted in the turns and corners…dare I say just like a Tallboy?

Read more: Review: Kona Hei-Hei Supreme Reflections

Sunday Santa Ana Mountains SingleTrack Tour

Santa Anas MTB Rideby Jesse Peterson, Mechanic at The Path Bike Shop Live Oak

The Sunday Live Oak shop ride was well worth depriving myself of sleep to make, although a couple more hours of snoozing would have been so nice, but that's then and this is now.

I got to the shop at 6:50am, and to my disappointment, nobody was waiting there. I supposed a 21 mile single-track ride wasn't on people's agenda for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but I was soon proven wrong as Jeff (a fellow Sprockethead) pulled up into the driveway. I was relieved. On the way out of the parking lot, Jeff broke a chain (which we fixed with two rocks and tight MacGyver skills) just as Pat (a long-time Path groupie) showed up late to join us.

Read more: Sunday Santa Ana Mountains SingleTrack Tour

Race 4: 2013 Cruise The Keys

Foothill High School Mountain Bike Race Team at Race 4 Cruise The Keys 2013Race #4 of the 2013 SoCal High School Mountain Bike Racing Series was the "Cruise the Keys" held at Keyesville Special Recreation Management Area, Lake Isabella on April 14, 2013. For those who are not familiar with the area, the course is a rollercoaster style single track with fast fireroad climbs. Riders did multiple laps of the course and battled high winds and dry conditions on race day.

The Foothill High School Mountain Bike Team was out in full force with great efforts and strong finishes. Team members Ben Bennett, Chris Taylor, and Collin Timmermans were all top 10 finishers in their race classes.  Gavin Bruddos was close with his best ever 11th place finish.

The Path Bike Shop is a proud sponsor of Foothill High School Mountain Bike Team, part of the SoCal High School Cycling League. They work to establish and maintain safe, quality high school mountain bike programs for student athletes (grades 9-12). Their first-class race series is an amazing opportunity for our local kids to get involved in the challenging and exciting world of competitive cycling.

Race #5 in the race series is the Cow Pie Classic, to be held on May 5, 2013 in Los Olivos, CA.

 

Review: 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude

2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 650B 27.5By Luke Wronski, employee of The Path Bike Shop

When I began the search for a new bike I was looking for an aggressive and snappy handling  6" travel 26er. When I found the Altitude, I found it to be just as snappy and fun as any 26", with improved pedal-ability due to the slightly larger wheels.

Ascending

Due to Rocky Mountain's "Straight up Geometry", which pertains to the straight up seat-tube angle, the Altitude climbs even the steepest ascents with comfort and ease. I've managed to climb comfortably with the bike in its slackest setting, but if climbs are a struggle the adjustable geometry chip is there to help. In addition to the geometry, the 27.5" wheels also help this bike maintain traction on technical climbs, and help the rider stay planted in the center to preserve energy.

Descending

In rough stuff the Altitude easily plows through the roughest rock gardens and feels confident on steep chutes and drops. Although the bike is stable and confidence inspiring, this is not at the cost of playfulness and flick-ability. The rear suspension of the Altitude is progressive, which favors a rider who tends to push hard into obstacles and needs the suspension to refrain from bottoming out too much.

Read more: Review: 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude

Race Report: 2013 Counting Coup

Race report by Matthew Palmer, member of The Path Bike Shop race team

2013 Counting Coup rider for The Path Bike ShopI've heard about Counting Coup and Vision Quest for a couple years now. It's the local ride (race) hosted by the Warrior's Societythat starts way too early in the morning, and covers a majority of the Santa Ana Mountains I ride in isolated segments all year long. I tried to register for the 2012 race, but after logging on an hour after registration started, I was immediately denied. So for 2013, I was  eager to register, not knowing what the ride demanded.

 
I rode the course once before the event, but nothing could have prepared me for the epic ride I experienced Saturday. Even now I see photos of the event, and it it's only a fragment of the memories I have.
 
Climbing up Blackstar with a 150+ commuter lights winding and chasing up the switchbacks, cresting the Divide at sunrise above the fog with only a view of the peak in the distance, and flying down HJ with green grasses as far as the eye can see. The surreal scene seemed to stay with me as I cruised along the route at a content rhythm — mostly alone.
 
I switched up my gearing for the ride to have fresh legs for the peak after making it up the pitches of the divide, and it paid off. I beat my previous course time by 30 minutes and still felt like I had more in me. I finished 11th overall and was the first SingleSpeeder to cross the finish.
 
 
 

Review: 2013 Kona Operator DH

Adrian jumping a 2013 Kona Operator DH mountain bikeAdrian Valdez, Kona Grassroots DH rider and employee of The Path Bike Shop

When it comes to producing cool bikes, Kona is on it! The 2013 Kona Operator is definitely one of the best downhill bikes I have owned and pedaled and honestly I was really sold on a Specialized Demo 8 thinking there was nothing better. Once I rode the Kona Operator, I was blown away!

It didn’t feel like a big, sluggish DH bike and I immediately noticed it sat higher in the travel. When I corner in braking bumps it feels way more stable than all my other DH bikes I have ever owned and the bike tracks very well through high speed corners to rocky off camber turns. The short chainstays really enhance the cornering and at the same time is still super stable at high speed chunk and straightaways. I felt comfortable the first time I jumped this bike, it handles well and was very predictable in the air and getting back on the ground!

Read more: Review: 2013 Kona Operator DH

2013 Ultra Quest Race Report

Josh at the start of the 2013 Ultra Quest mountain bike raceBy Josh Jacquot, member of The Path Bike Shop Race Team
 
Photos: Bill Freeman Photography, Greg Groom, Cheryl Thiele, Carl Bauer, Tanya Jacquot

The email from UQ race organizer Dave Wonderly the night before was as simple and it was true: “It’s going to be epic.”

And when the morning dawned wet, cloudy and warm, there was ample conjecture among UQers about what we faced in heights above. Speculation was as thick as the mud we’d be riding through as to how much frozen precipitation the mountains might hold. And with routinely minimal fanfare, DW lifted the flag and the pedaling began.

Sixty meters later, it ended.

Read more: 2013 Ultra Quest Race Report

Ultra Quest 2013

The Path Bike Shop team and shop riders at Ultra Quest 2013

Kudos to all The Path Bike Shop team and shop riders - (pictured, left to right) Jesse, Gerrin, Jake, Darin, Sanjay, and Josh - for their participation at the 2013 Ultra Quest this past weekend! They rode 38 miles, 12,000' elevation gain, 90% single track. Whew!

The conditions were amazing, the riders were stoked, the finishers were tired and a new course record was laid down.

Results: 

  • 1 - Josh Jacquot 0:00 6:53
  • 6 - Sanjay Shanbhag 0:49 7:42
  • 9 - Jesse Peterson 1:24 8:17
  • 12 - Jake Nelson 1:50 8:43
  • 37 - Darin Maxwell 4:53 11:46

 

Review: SRAM XX1

SRAM's XX1 installed on a mountain bikeby Josh Jacquot, member of The Path Bike Shop Race Team

Five Weeks, Zero Chain Drops

SRAM's XX1 Still Causes Fits

Live with SRAM XX1, the new 11-speed, single-chainring, slackless drivetrain for five weeks and you're going to have some regrets.

First, you'll find yourself stuck with the urge to burn all front derailleurs. Not just yours, either. Your friends will be beating you away from theirs, too. But that's not all. Oh, no. All your old-school chain-slapping rear derailleurs will be destined for the flames as well.

Truth is, if you ride in a way that's ever made your chain fall off, you'll be riding this stuff inside of 12 months. It's that good. With the switch from a Shimano 2x10 setup I lost both the chain-dropping antics common to clutchless drivetrains (yes, Shimano makes one. No, I didn't have it) and three quarters of a pound from the bike. It was like losing a noisy anchor. Missed it about as much, too.

Read more: Review: SRAM XX1

Review: 2013 Cannondale Trigger 29er 2

2013 Cannondale Trigger 29er 2 at The Path Bike Shop in Tustin, CAby James Matsubayashi, contributing writer and The Path Bike Shop customer

With my Ibis Mojo SL approaching 5 years in age, I started looking at different trail bikes to replace it and at the same time compliment my other bikes: a Salsa Spearfish (all-day endurance bike) and a Kona Raijin (singlespeed).  I was thinking about something a little more burly, only because the Spearfish does okay as a trailbike if needed, at least for the trails I most often ride, and actually so does the Raijin for that matter! Why have something that overlapped?  I was intrigued by 27.5 inch wheel models such as the Turner Burner and Banshee Spitfire, but didn't want to spend that much, because I likely wouldn't be riding this bike as often as the others.  I even thought about buying a Heckler when I saw frames on sale for $500.

Read more: Review: 2013 Cannondale Trigger 29er 2

Review: 2013 Surly Krampus

2013 Surly KrampusReview and photos by Neil, General Manager at The Path Bike Shop

I had to get one...

2013 Surly Krampus. Been riding it about a week. I have about 100 dirt miles on it already.

In all honesty I did not think I would like it this much! It climbs just fine, obviously has a ton of traction and great cornering.  Rolls much faster then it looks, climbs like anything else and descends so much better then a regular rigid...the 3" wide, low psi tires help a ton!

The geometry is less XC, which is nice. I have the rear hub slammed forward in the horizontal dropout for a 17.25 chainstay length and with a 69.5 degree head angle = fun with 3", 16 psi tires! 

This build weighs in at 26-1/2 lbs with Thomson post, or 27-3/4 lbs with dropper post.

Read more: Review: 2013 Surly Krampus

Foothill High School Race Team Takes On 12 Hours of Temecula

Foothill High School mountain bike team at the 12 hours of Temecula race 1, 2013The annual 12 Hours of Temecula Endurance Race Series had its first race of the season on January 19, 2013. The Foothill High School Mountain Bike team came out with a strong four-person team. They ended up landing a solid 3rd place finish in the 2-4 person Jr class, completing 12 laps in just 10 hours and 58 minutes.

Upcoming races for the team include 5 High School races, then State Championships in May 2013.

The Orange County Register did a feature on mountain biking in Orange County that included an interview with Ross Bennett, head coach of the Foothill High School team. This article also appeared in the print version of the OC Register with an additional interview from Tani Walling, owner of The Path Bike Shop.

We're really happy to sponsor and support such a great group of young local riders, and they're really proving what great accomplishments they are capable of.

For more information, race schedule, and to support the SoCal High School Cycling League, visit their website.

Top photo: Foothill High School team member McHenry Carlson prepared for his first lap with teammate Chris Taylor at the 12 hours of Temecula.

Read more: Foothill High School Race Team Takes On 12 Hours of Temecula

Review: 2013 Santa Cruz Blur TRc

2013 Santa Cruz Tallboy TRc“Old Friend” – Two weeks on a 2013 Santa Cruz TRc

report and photos by Eric (Auk) Akiyoshi, The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team

Yes, this is a bike review, but it starts with a story of a lost “friend.” 

About a month ago, I thought I had lost one of my favorite house slippers: not the pair, just the left one.  You know, it’s like that favorite pair of jeans, sneakers, t-shirt, old sweatshirt, or stuffed animal:  I was lost without it.  Not one brisk evening went by without me thinking about my lost slipper.  Flash forward one month to the day it was found stuffed inside an igloo at the back of the family van (really?).  Eureka!  Reunion! My lost friend!  It was a joyous reunion!  Nothing could be better than being reunited with a long lost friend:  or could it?

Read more: Review: 2013 Santa Cruz Blur TRc

Custom 2013 Banshee Rune

2013 Banshee Rune mountain bikeHere is a special custom build we did for a customer, and we love how it turned out.

This is the 2013 Banshee Rune. This custom build features a 27.5" front wheel and a 26" rear wheel, plus SRAM's new 1x11 drivetrain.

Why do we like the Banshee Rune here at The Path Bike Shop?

  • The frame can accommodate either 26" or 27.5" wheels...great options!
  • The perfect enduro race bike and all-mountain bike, it can do it all
  • Adjustable modular rear dropout system
  • Slack head angle (65 deg) and lower BB (13")

 

SRAM XX1, Anyone?

Kona Raijin mountain bike with SRAM XX1 drivetrainReview and photos by Neil, General Manager at The Path Bike Shop

So it has only been a week and a few days with the SRAM XX1 setup, but lots of miles and lots of vertical gain and loss.

I have to say, being a long time SRAM drivetrain fanboy I was still wondering. Why add the Direct TV dish to the end of a already excellent gear range? The 42t cassette ring has not seen much action yet but when I get the drivetrain on a full squish set up it will most likely see some "rotation".

After countless rocky, bumpy, loose and very fun descents, the chain still has yet to drop...that I really really like. Granted the set up is on my Kona Raijin, so no rear triangle moving all over the place. Regardless, I was dropping chains ala 1x10 with a Type 2 RD and fake FD on this same bike. It took the Bionicon C.Guide to keep it on.

Now the bike is no longer "busy" up front and IMO looks nice and clean.

Read more: SRAM XX1, Anyone?

Thanksgiving Day MTB Ride 2012

Maple Springs MTB ride with The Path Bike Shopreport and photos by Eric (Auk) Akiyoshi, The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team

The annual Path Bike Shop Turkey Day Ride rolled out of the Maple Springs trailhead at 6:30am or so with temps in the mid-forties.  Dense fog socked in the lowlands of Tustin, but at the trailhead, sunny skies and crisp weather welcomed 15 riders to conquer the Maple Springs pavement and experience epic views from Four Corners. 

Neil quickly moved to the lead position with Brian (The Lad), Melody, and Auk in tow with Gregg sweeping the rest of the group along.  Good spirits (literally and figuratively) were in store as group reformed at the transition to the dirt.  As the group gain elevation and rode out of the fog, blue, sunny skies greeted the group and conversations rolled on as easily as the climb to Four Corners.

Read more: Thanksgiving Day MTB Ride 2012

Race Report: Caspers Wilderness Park Race 4, Enduro Stuff OC Parks Tour

podium at Caspers Wilderness Park for the Enduro Stuff OC Parks Tour 2012by Bryan, a.k.a., "The Lad"

It was a great turnout for the last race of the season at Casper Wilderness Park on November 3rd, 2012 for the Enduro Stuff OC Parks Tour Race series.  We had perfect weather conditions, an exciting technical course, and lots of energy all around. 

Being a US Kenda Cup racer for the past 2 years, it was a pleasure to have participated in a local race series which utilizes the mountains I consider my backyard.  I was thrilled to have placed 1st for the Single Speed category and placing podium for all 4 races which resulted 1st for the season. 

I’m grateful to have support and motivation from my family and friends.  It is of great honor and privilege to be riding with some of the best riders out there.  A special thanks to Tani Walling, Neil Adams and my fellow teammates from the Path Bike Shop.   It’s been a great season, and I’m pumped up for what’s to come for next year’s series.

 

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